Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Epilogue | Freda G. Ward

Freda Ward loved writing books about everyday life

ST, PETERSBURG — Freda Ward was a prolific and largely unknown writer who enjoyed recording the details of everyday life. She filled 10 books — nine of them self-published — with short essays about anything, including pantyhose, ironing, paper shredders and whiteout.

She died March 25, of heart and lung illnesses. She was 77.

Born and raised in rural Illinois, she leveled a brass-tacks wit at the world, her husband, Hal, and herself.

If you eat three varieties of chocolate at a time, you'll get cross training. For example, all chocolate, chocolate and almonds, and chocolate and cream would be a balanced lunch. The three different food groups promote health.

"She was very outgoing," said Hal Ward, 79. "Much more so than me."

The couple lived in Annandale, Va., near Washington, D.C. He was an accountant with the General Accounting Office; she volunteered with church and school organizations and raised three sons.

In 1979, she and Hal started a commercial lighting business together. After 20 successful years they moved to St. Petersburg.

Mrs. Ward wasted no time pursuing a dream of writing books.

In 2000, Mrs. Ward published her first book of whimsical musings, Serving Gravy with a Slotted Spoon. One chapter detailed an incident in the car, in which Hal Ward sat down on a tomato.

The more I laughed — silently — the more Hal uttered expletives. Sprinkled amongst his choice words, he kept repeating, "I'll get you for this."

Another chapter recounts Mrs. Ward's unsuccessful attempts to open a jar of pickles. Hal couldn't open the jar either, so he smashed it with a hammer.

"If you took her words seriously, you'd think he was a grouchy old man," said Greg Seeley, a lawyer who met Mrs. Ward in a writing group. "But it's quite obvious to everybody that they love each other very much."

Mrs. Ward became disillusioned with her publisher for the high prices it set and its inability to get her work into bookstores. She began to publish her own books, several of which center on her Methodist faith.

She spoke publicly at least 200 times, using a blend of inspiration and standup comedy. She worked dinners at First United Methodist Church in St. Petersburg as if she were the minister, her husband said.

Mrs. Ward had nearly finished an untitled manuscript about her 8-year-old granddaughter, Jennifer, who has leukemia.

For the first time in 54 years, Hal Ward finds himself without her. He plans to publish her book about Jennifer this year.

"I may even start writing myself," he said.

Andrew Meacham can be reached at (727) 892-2248 or ameacham@sptimes.com.

>>Biography

Freda G. Ward

Born: Dec. 6, 1931

Died: March 25, 2009

Survivors: husband, Hal; sons, Harold Jr. and his wife, Tammie, David and his wife, Phyllis, Richard and his wife, Karen; brothers, Claude, Bob and Bill Gower; and numerous grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Service: 1:15 p.m. today; First United Methodist Church, 212 Third St. N, St. Petersburg.

Freda Ward loved writing books about everyday life 04/03/09 [Last modified: Friday, April 3, 2009 10:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Wrestling to return to old Tampa armory — but just for one night

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — For the first time in decades, wrestling will return to the old Ft. Homer W. Hesterly Armory with a reunion show scheduled for late September.

    For the first time in decades, wrestling will return to the old Ft. Homer W. Hesterly Armory with a reunion show scheduled for late September.
Now named the Bryan Glazer Family JCC, the armory regularly featured stars such as Dusty Rhodes and Jack Brisco. On September 26, it will host a one-time only reunion night. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times file photo (2016)]
  2. Wanted: New businesses on Safety Harbor's Main Street

    Local Government

    SAFETY HARBOR — A green grocery store, a hardware store, restaurants, boutiques and multi-use buildings are all wanted downtown, according to discussion at a community redevelopment workshop held last week. And to bring them to the Main Street district, city commissioners, led by Mayor Joe Ayoub, gave City Manager …

    Whistle Stop Bar & Grill is one of the main stops on Main Street in Safety Harbor. [LUIS SANTANA | Times]
  3. John Morgan intends to pressure every Florida politician to fund wage initiative

    Blogs

    John Morgan, the publicity-loving personal injury lawyer/entrepreneur who spearheaded the successful medical marijuana initiative, soon plans to start collecting signatures for a 2020 ballot initiative raising Florida minimum wage. He plans to "spend millions of my own money" on the effort, but he also intends to …

  4. Westbound traffic on Courtney Campbell blocked after crash

    Accidents

    Westbound traffic on the Courtney Campbell Causeway is being diverted following a crash early Thursday morning.

  5. Q&A: A business leader and historian jointly delve into Tampa's waterfront

    Business

    TAMPA — As a native of Tampa, Arthur Savage has always had a passion for his hometown's history. And as a third-generation owner and operator of A.R. Savage & Son, a Tampa-based shipping agency, his affinity for his hometown also extends to its local waterways.

    Arthur Savage (left) and Rodney Kite-Powell, co-authors of "Tampa Bay's Waterfront: Its History and Development," stand for a portrait with the bust of James McKay Sr. in downtown Tampa on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017. McKay, who passed away in 1876, was a prominent businessman, among other things, in the Tampa area. He was Arthur Savage's great great grandfather. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]